Many men don’t see themselves as world-class chefs in the kitchen, but most do consider themselves grill masters.
Ryan LaPera is on another level. What started as a hobby has turned into a full-fledged business, and it all began in his garage.
“I’m by myself in the garage a lot, either brewing beer or smoking meat,” he explains.
The garage is a place of many endeavors for LaPera. First there’s Guru BBQ. It initially started as all fun and games with his brother, then his friend Mark (who is a classically-trained chef) got involved, and it only got bigger from there. The group specializes in a barbecue fusion unlike any other. They serve a mad scientist concoction of traditional American barbecue mixed in with Korean and Mexican, just to name a few of the cuisines they incorporate.
Their business was so successful catering events and what not, that they eventually got licensed out of Caché Bake Shoppe in Clive. It’s been a great partnership ever since, as the shop’s artistic desserts pair well with Guru’s innovative barbecue. Now Guru enters several barbecue competitions and is catering more events than ever before. One can find their creations on the menu at 515 Brewing Company, and they even landed a coveted spot at Bacon Fest this past February where they dished up their mouth watering Chocolate Bacon Bacon Chili (Yes, that’s two bacons).
“It keeps getting bigger and bigger,” LaPera smiles.
While Guru BBQ has been a fruitful group project, LePera’s beer is all his own. What began on a whim 10 years ago in college is now something he prides himself on. He doesn’t limit himself to one kind of beer either; he makes all kinds of lights, darks IPAs, etc.
LaPera and his wife will have get togethers in their backyard, and Ryan’s homemade brew always goes fast. His friends are constantly unapologetically snapping up his invention to take home.
“It’s hard to keep on tap,” he laughs.
His favorite mixture is one he calls “Bitchin’ Blonde Ale,” which he says is great for summertime.
Barbecue, beer and a fun disposition makes the LaPera’s garage the place to be in summer or any time of year.
Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”